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Greenburgh, Elmsford Frustrated With Restoration Efforts

Elmsford Mayor Robert Williams, left, and Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said they are frustrated with Con Edison's slow restoration efforts.
Elmsford Mayor Robert Williams, left, and Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said they are frustrated with Con Edison's slow restoration efforts. Photo Credit: Village of Elmsford and Town of Greenburgh

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Both Greenburgh and Elmsford officials are reminding Con Edison workers daily that thousands of residents in the area remain without power, but have taken matters into their own hands due to the company's slow response.

Since the hurricane hit, Elmsford Mayor Williams said he has made four calls, two conference calls and a fax to Con Edison officials each day to remind them about the village's current outages. A Con Ed liaison is also present in the village's emergency operations center to send out reminders about the outages, Williams said.

Elmsford officials also delivered four pickup trucks worth of cut firewood to residents without power for free. The wood comes from trees that have fallen over the course of the year, Williams said.

"We were thinking these people have no heat, no electricity. Let's see if we can bring them wood," Williams said. "They were very grateful."

The village also set up charging stations, going around with a truck and a generator and knocking on residents' doors asking if they need electronics charged.

Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner founded a program called "House Angels" to match people still suffering from power outages to residents opening their homes for a place to stay.

The Edgemont Community Council also stepped up to the plate — organizing a donation center to collect warm meals, blankets, batteries and other basic necessities and bring them to others in the community who may be confined to their homes without electricity.

The Greenburgh Public Library has also remained busy — almost 2,000 people visited the library on Wednesday to charge electronics, use the Internet and stay warm, said Cory Deitchman, assistant to the library director.

Feiner joined other municipal officials in a conference call to Con Edison Tuesday and said every town official echoed that an inadequate number of crews were being distributed countywide.

Con Edison told municipals that they were beginning to hire company retirees to hasten restoration time, Feiner wrote in an email. Feiner said he wrote to the New York Public Service Commission Sunday asking for an investigation into restoration efforts.

"I can't understand why different crews can't work around the clock," Feiner wrote. "I'm upset and as frustrated as everyone else — and aggravated, because people, especially the elderly and disabled, are suffering."

Williams said he's been receiving dozens of emails acknowledging the village's efforts — most people are upset over the power outages.

"Everybody's upset with Con Ed's length of time it's taken to restore power," he said. "People are thanking us for getting the roads open so quickly. They were very happy with the village's response and unhappy with Con Ed's response."

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